Friday, March 27, 2009

People Don't Know What They Are Talking About

A report that an 18 year old boy is facing up to 5 years in prison and 10 years on the Illinois sex registry for taking a nude photo of his girlfriend when she was only 16 and he was 17, includes the following statement:
Obviously nude photos of a minor clearly fall under the legal definition of "child pornography."
This is a common misconception. Nude photos of anyone at any age are not pornography. From the U.S. Code, pornography is defined by images which show "sexually explicit conduct", further defined as "sexual intercourse, including genital-genital, oral-genital, anal-genital, or oral-anal, whether between persons of the same or opposite sex; bestiality; masturbation; sadistic or masochistic abuse; or; lascivious exhibition of the genitals or pubic area of any person." Read the entire code. None of these "sexting" stories appear to meet the definition, yet prosecutors keep threatening kids with child pornography charges and sex offender lists.

Paul Rapoport on his TERA website offers the following:
By the available descriptions, the photos have as much connection to child pornography as does a cement sidewalk...We don't comment much on this phenomenon, called "sexting" (transmission by cellular phone of photos of people partly or totally undressed). By bringing up child porn charges for such cases where no abuse or coercion is involved, American authorities often abuse their power and show that they understand neither the law they're supposed to uphold nor principles involving the body and teens. If there's a problem, making teenagers criminal pornographers and registered sex offenders for what are legal photos is no solution and is a horrible miscarriage of justice. It also furthers the body phobias and resultant psychological traumas that North America is famous for.
Dr. Rapoport also provides a link to this article by Tony Norman.
There's something of a "destroy the village" mentality operating in the Wyoming County prosecutor's office in the northeastern part of Pennsylvania. District Attorney George Skumanick Jr. believes child pornography charges are warranted for the three teenage girls who refused his generous offer of probation along with a five-week, 10-hour "re-education program" designed to put them on the straight and sexless narrow.

The girls are charged with the possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography via cell-phone text messaging. It doesn't even matter that other than the exposed breasts of one of the girls, no genitalia or sexual behavior is seen in the cell-phone images. Two of the girls are wearing bras and one is flashing a peace sign, which is pretty perverted in some parts of the country, I suppose. There is no meaningful correlation between the photos, the intent of the photos or the law.

But in the eyes of the district attorney's office, there's something threatening about girls acting goofy in cell-phone photos, especially if they live where the county seat is a place called Tunkhannock, which sounds suspiciously like the punch line of a dirty joke.
Maybe people are beginning to wake up a little bit, as there are signs of victims fighting back.
One of three teens suing a Pennsylvania prosecutor says she does not want to be bullied by the district attorney, who threatened to charge the girls over racy cell-phone pictures.

Fifteen-year-old Marissa Miller said after a federal court hearing Thursday that she did nothing wrong when a friend took a picture of her and another girl in their bras.
Reporters who continue to use words like "racy" in their stories are editorializing, and passing judgement on the girls who took these photos. Nobody seems to be able to stick to the facts anymore when "reporting".

There are people out there who don't believe that this is a nudist issue, but it most certainly is. The cornerstone of the nudist and naturist movement is that being free and natural is the basic right of all human beings, of any age, race, ethnicity, gender, religion, or sexual preference. This hysteria over what is perceived to be "child pornography" threatens to remove anyone under the age of 18 from participating in naturism. Once that happens, all that will be left is swingers clubs and resorts. Children are the balance to all life, they make adults responsible, caring, and nurturing.

If it's true that 20% of all teens have sent or posted online nude photos of themselves, then we are dealing with a cultural shift, not a crime wave. Fight for your kids, and don't give in to these renegade prosecutors who are perverting the law by using it against the very people it was designed to protect.

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